On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to support the Debt Ceiling Alternative Act, H.R. 5083, introduced by Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.). The bill would bring responsible debt management when the federal government reaches its borrowing limit.
From January 2007 through October 2019, the share of the debt held by the public has grown from $4.9 trillion to $16.9 trillion. Including intergovernmental holdings, the total national debt has grown from $8.67 trillion to $19.84 trillion. The public’s share of the debt will only continue to grow unless Congress addresses federal spending. As of the end of the third quarter of 2019, the ratio of publicly held debt to gross domestic product (GDP) was 78.1 percent. This ratio will rise to 95.1 percent in 2029, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Despite this clear warning that the federal government faces a long-term fiscal crisis, there is a cacophony of cries for more spending and more debt even as mandatory spending – including Medicare and Social Security – and interest on the national debt will consume, under current law, 72.8 percent of all federal outlays. This is generational theft, and there is no avoiding that fact.
In July 2019, Congress recently approved a two-year suspension of the debt limit. This suspension will allow the Department of the Treasury to borrow to finance deficit spending through July 2021. The suspension of the debt limit came at a time in which the Department of the Treasury was using extraordinary measures to meet debt obligations. There are other ways to handle these debt obligations after the statutory date or dollar amount for the debt limit has been met.
The Debt Ceiling Alternative Act requires the Department of the Treasury to issue GDP-linked bonds to pay principal and interest and on debt held by the public, and allow for the rescission of unobligated funds that exceed $1 trillion. It would also allow for the sale of mortgage-related assets owned by the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation and securities held by the Federal Reserve.
Congress should consider better and more responsible ways for the federal government to manage debt. The Debt Ceiling Alternative Act provides responsible solutions to accomplish this goal. For these reasons, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to support the Debt Ceiling Alternative Act, H.R. 5083.
Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks